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Gloucestershire Business News

First climate project supported by new Cotswold investment goes live

Outdated electric vehicle charging points (EVCPs) are being replaced with new state-of-the-art 50Kw rapid charge units at Old Market Way car park, Moreton-in-Marsh and The Beeches car park, Cirencester.

Backed by funding allocated through the recently launched Cotswold Climate Investment, the upgrades are said to support residents, businesses and visitors to move away from vehicles powered by polluting fossil fuels in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality leading to better health.

The installation of the new EVCPs signals the start of a programme by the Council to roll out more publicly available charging points across the district to give motorists the opportunity to charge their vehicles away from home and enable residents without access to off-street parking to charge overnight.

Councillor Rachel Coxcoon, cabinet member for Climate Change and Forward Planning at Cotswold District Council said: "We are delighted that the initial phase of the very first project to be allocated funding under new Cotswold Climate Investment is up and running.

"The speed and level of support seen shows just how passionate members of the public are about the environment and how, by working together, we can accelerate projects in the our area which can bring about positive climate action and benefit local people.

"The priority for low carbon transport is more walking and cycling which reduces road congestion, makes towns more vibrant, saves money and improves people's health. Nonetheless as a rural district we can't move away from cars altogether.

"While petrol and diesel vehicles still dominate our roads at the moment, the growth of electric vehicles is welcomed and set to continue, and it's important that the infrastructure to underpin this is in place. However two of the most cited factors against switching right now are the perceived difficulties in charging up electric cars and range anxiety.

"By offering more places to charge, using the latest technology, we can go some way to filling this gap and give people the confidence to make the move to cleaner motoring."

Developing the infrastructure to support EVs is just one objective outlined in the Council's Climate Emergency Strategy 2020-2030 to decarbonise the district around the key issue of transport and according to the independent Climate Change Committee, the transition to electric vehicles will be one of the most important factors in achieving the UK's Net Zero climate change reduction target.

To charge, users will simply need to download the EB Go! Smartphone app, available for free from the App Store or Google Play. Motorists have the option to register for an account, which enables payment and vehicle details to be saved for future charging or alternatively users can charge as a guest. For either option, drivers will need to enter their card details and a phone number to verify the charging device.

The units are being upgraded to accept contactless card payments in the next few weeks.

The second phase of the EVCP roll out is set to take place later in the year. Four charging units, able to charge 8 vehicles simultaneously, are planned for the Council's Rissington Road car park at Bourton-on-the-Water as part of the wider redevelopment of the site, with a further 4 publicly-available chargers being installed at the Council offices in Trinity Road, Cirencester.

The Cotswold Climate Investment (CCI) - the first of its kind to be offered by any district council in the country - invites people to invest as little as £5 into projects to provide a collective and accelerated response to the climate emergency.

Since its launch last month, the raise is already well on its way to reaching its first-phase target of £500k with more than 60 per cent already pledged.

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